The Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) will be available in 2012, but it will come with some limitations. According to this article, campuses and other institutions use SMS messaging to get alerts out now, yet this could change. Campuses have faced many challenges with the SMS emergency alert messaging because sometimes students and staff are unwilling to participate. Obstacles such as spam filters, throughout, and database design are also prevalent. CMAS might allow commercial mobile service providers to transmit emergency alerts to their subscribers.
As the article states, “Unlike current SMS text alert systems that transmit messages individually to cell phones, CMAS uses broadcast technology. Every cell site sends out the message once, which eliminates the throughput/network traffic problems and delays associated with many SMS solutions. CMAS also geographically targets its notifications and eliminates the need for a prioritized database.” Also, enrollment challenges are avoided because “CMAS functionality is built into cell phones, and the general public will automatically receive the service on their handsets unless they opt out.”
No one can be sure if universities and other places will adopt the CMAS system, but it seems as though these places may switch over to CMAS for emergency notifications. Alerts that are nonessential such as road closures, my be relegated to SMS technology. Who will be responsible for sending the messages is also up for debate. Would it be in campus’s responsibility? Local government? National Weather Service? All of these questions are valid. One thing for sure is that CMAS will change messaging as we know it.
For any questions about CMAS or other communications needs contact ARK Systems at 1-800-995-0189 or click here today.